The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with Federal, State and local health officials, will begin a phased restart of some 2020 Census field operations in select geographic areas this week.
The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance. All returning staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau has ordered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all field staff, including those that work in a field office. These materials will be secured and provided to staff prior to restarting operations.
As part of the phased restart of operations, the Census Bureau will resume dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home. This operation is also known as Update Leave. About 5% of households are counted in the Update Leave operation, where census workers will confirm or update a household’s physical location address and then leave a census questionnaire packet.
The Census Bureau began delivering census materials to these households on March 15; however, this operation was suspended on March 18 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Update Leave operation does not require interaction between households and a Census Bureau employee and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. In states where we have resumed the Update Leave operation, we are also resuming fingerprinting for new hires to keep applicants moving through the hiring process. ACO staff will begin returning to the office as necessary to support the Update Leave operation, as well.
The Associate Director for Decennial Programs leads the operational team making the decision to restart select operations within an ACO, driven by the assessment of career Census Bureau operational leadership; a thorough review of the operating status of a state, locality or tribal area; the key data that support that operating status as identified by Federal, State and local guidance; and the ability of Census Bureau staff to safely resume operations, including the procurement of PPE.
Households that receive the 2020 Census invitation packets are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to the 2020 Census using the census ID included in the questionnaire packet. People can respond online, by phone or by completing and returning the paper form by mail. Responding with the census ID or by completing and returning the paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of their community.
For more information, please visit the 2020 Census COVID-19 operational adjustments page.